LÉ Aisling sale must be investigated

LÉ Aisling

SINN Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for an investigation into the sale of the LÉ Aisling naval vessel.

The Ireland South MEP was speaking after the ship, which was sold to a Dutch buyer by the Department of Defence for €110,000 at auction in Cork, appeared for resale in Holland valued at €685,000.

“The incompetence displayed throughout this whole debacle is staggering though not surprising and completely in keeping with this government’s attitude towards state finances and state assets,” she said.

“This is the same government that on the one hand is attempting to demonise working class people with a clumsy benefit fraud campaign while on the other allowing companies like Apple and Starbucks to operate here almost tax free with the loss of billions to the state.

“The money raised from a properly valued sale of the Aisling could have been used for any number of much needed projects from supporting diversification in traditional fishing communities to bolstering environmental protection at sea.

“This is being reported as an embarrassing blunder by the Government but it is much more than that; this episode is highly indicative of the incompetence and contempt of this government for state assets and the general population.

“My colleague, David Cullinane TD, has said he will raise the issue at the next meeting of the Public Accounts Committee and I believe it is also crucial that the processes and conclusion of this sale are investigated fully by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.”